17 April 2020

Today we launch our super-duper long-distance Festival, Go the Distance, across communities in Ashfield, Bolsover, Mansfield and North East Derbyshire.

Needing to find an alternative to our friendly get-togethers and the like, we’ve created the Festival to bring a wide range of fun quality arts and cultural experiences in an accessible way direct to people in their homes, offering entertainment and light relief, as well as ways to connect people and communities during the Covid-19 situation.

To respond to the ever-changing situation, Go the Distance will be made up of several chapters. Chapter One is made up of two projects,  Everybody’s Home and Remote Access.

We always felt this was going to be marathon not a sprint hence the name ‘Go The Distance’. This perfectly sums up how we are setting our own pace through each ‘chapter’ and giving ourselves and the people we work with enough room to respond to this uncertain situation

– Karl Greenwood, First Art Director

Everybody’s Home is a specially curated creative kit, packed full of fun things to do and resources that will be sent out free of charge to hundreds of homes in North Nottinghamshire and North Derbyshire.

Working closely with Mansfield District Council and other district councils, the packs will also provide vital contact and service information about Coronavirus (Covid-19), especially for people in communities who may be completely isolated or not able to access this information online.

In the packs we’ll be including a colouring book capturing moments and how lifestyles have changed during the pandemic, together with a letter writing kit, part of which includes a special letter for people to write to key workers that may form part of a larger scale event later in the Festival. There are also activities such as make a puppet show, create a comic book, an isolation selfie frame, a scavenger hunt, a time capsule, and origami amongst other things.

“There are some brilliant things out there being developed for people to take part in but many of these rely on people going online and downloading things, or having to get hold of materials from their home. This isn’t always an option for some people, including many that live in the areas we work.”

Remote Access, is a series of commissioned artist projects that provide a bit of fun and entertainment to people’s lives in these moments of isolation. We’ll work with a range of artists to inspire audiences to access some quality content online when they are not physically able to connect with one another.

The first of these will be ‘Rubbish Portraits’ by Lucie Sheridan – an online version of this live art experience where Lucie creates a very quick, while-you-sit brush and ink portrait.

Lucie Sheridan Rubbish Portraits Photo Booth

Applications for Remote Access are now open – all the info for this can be found here.  The deadline for applications is 10am on 27 April 2020.